HAVANA, Nov. 22 (DDC) The first seven Russian locomotives of a general contract of 75 arrived on the island Tuesday, according to the official news agency Prensa Latina.
“The rest will come gradually,” said Deputy Director of the Union of Railways of Cuba (UFC), Rolando Navarro.
The seven locomotives are part of a batch of 15 equipment purchased this year, while for the first half of January is expected to enter the country of the remaining eight, and also, will come another 28 during 2018.
According to Navarro, the locomotives that arrived on Tuesday will be used in the western zone in the transportation work of the sugar and cargo harvest.
“Each of these locomotives has a value of one million euros and come from the factory of Liudinovo, located 400 kilometers from Moscow, in Kaluga.They are of type TGM 8 and have a towing capacity of 1,600 tons and their average speed It is 80 kilometers per hour, “the official added.
Navarro explained that as part of the contract is the training to operators, and so far 15 engineers and 15 mechanics were trained in the factory during the construction process.
“Now the second stage of the training, which will be held in Cuba at the Narrow Workshop in the Mariel Special Development Zone, is in conjunction with Russian specialists to work on the implementation of these locomotives,” he concluded.
According to the UFC specialist, Jose Ledesma, “the new locomotives differ from the previous ones due to their modernizations, they have more power, the equipment is hydraulic diesel similar to the previous one, they have a new compressor, the engine is more powerful, and the transmission and command and control signaling systems have been improved. “
In recent years, Moscow and Havana have taken steps to recover the close cooperation they maintained before the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991.
In March, the Union of Railroads announced that it will modernize the main roads of the Cuban railway system with the collaboration of Russia in a project in which some 1,054 million dollars will be invested for its execution until the year 2030.
In the railway sector, Havana and Moscow have already signed several agreements. Among them, last November the Cuban state Tradex agreed to purchase 68 passenger cars from the Russian company Tvervagonnostroitelny Zavod, according to the official news agency Prensa Latina.
A few months before, the Russian Insurance Agency for Export and Investment Credits (EXIAR) agreed a 190 million euro loan to the state-owned company Ferrocarriles de Cuba (FC) for the purchase of products from the group Sinara Among them, 60 new TGM8 locomotives and 15 TGM4 locomotives, according to Russian media.
In September 2015, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) indicated that Havana signed a contract with the Russian company RM-Rail for the purchase of 363 railcars, including 163 hoppers for the sugar harvest.